ALIQUIPPA, Pa. - UPDATE 6/14: Acting Police Chief Robert Sealock recuses the Aliquippa Police Department from the DelTondo investigation.
In a letter, Sealock said his first official directive was to recuse his officers from the investigation. Instead, he said his department would be focusing on other investigations and the safety of the citizens of Aliquippa.
Channel 11’s Amy Marcinkiewicz reports Beaver County detectives will take over the DelTondo investigation.
UPDATE 6/11: Capt. Robert Sealock is the third officer to hold the police chief position in Aliquippa in less than a week.
Chief Don Couch was put on paid leave over personnel issues, then a day later, acting Chief Joseph Perciavalle was arrested for allegedly texting a sexually explicit video to a 17-year-old.
"All the bad publicity and unfortunate events, we’re just going to move through it. We’re going to continue to do what we do," said Sealock, who has been with the department for 21 years.
UPDATE 6/8: The assistant police chief in Aliquippa is facing felony charges for distribution of sexually explicit material to a 17-year-old girl, authorities said.
An investigation led to a search of cellphone messages between Assistant Chief Joseph Perciavalle and several other people, including a minor, officials said.
Police searched several cellphones, and a review of instant messages on the minor’s phone revealed one that was sexually explicit, investigators said.
A video was sent to a small group that included the girl. The sender was listed in the minor’s cellphone as “Uncle Pere,” authorities said. "Uncle Pere” was determined to be Perciavalle after detectives recognized the phone number, police said.
Perciavalle had been serving as acting police chief after Chief Donald Couch was placed on paid administrative leave earlier in the week.
UPDATE 6/6: The Aliquippa City Council suspended Aliquippa's police chief at a meeting, catching the veteran lawman by surprise.
Donald Couch, who has been with the department for nearly two decades, turned over his keys before being escorted from the building by four police officers.
City solicitor Myron Sainovich said Couch was placed on administrative leave with pay because of a personnel issue, and that the move was not related to the Rachael DelTondo murder investigation and shouldn't affect it.
An Aliquippa police sergeant was placed on leave in the early stages of the DelTondo investigation, because his teenage daughter was with DelTondo the night of her murder.
UPDATE 5/25: Channel 11 has uncovered more search warrants in the Rachael DelTondo murder case.
Police are looking at the cell phone records of her ex-fiance Frank Catroppa, Tyrie Jeter and an unknown number.
Tyrie Jeter is the half-brother of Sheldon Jeter Jr., who was found in a parked car with DelTondo when he was 17 years old. Tyrie Jeter was also getting ice cream with DelTondo the night she was killed.
Police said the unknown number they are looking at was called by Sheldon Jeter right around the time of DelTondo's murder.
Channel 11 uncovers more search warrants in the Rachel Deltondo murder. Police looking at cell phone records of her ex fiancé Frank Catroppa, Tyrie Jeter and an unknown number. https://t.co/gMqsZM7QCp— Amy Marcinkiewicz (@WPXIAmy) May 24, 2018
The FBI has confirmed that they are assisting in the investigation but will not give any additional information.
Detectives went to Catroppa's apartment to check out his story. According to police documents, detectives said it showed no log-in time to his apartment building on May 13, the day of the murder.
They also said there were no video camera by his apartment to verify his times.
Catroppa told Channel 11 last week he had nothing to do with DelTondo's murder.
Former teacher Rachael DelTondo was shot to death in her mother's driveway in Aliquippa the night of Sunday, May 13. No arrests have been made.
NIGHT OF THE MURDER
Former teacher Rachael DelTondo, 32, was shot to death in her mother’s driveway late Sunday night in Aliquippa, police said.
Family members said she was coming home from getting ice cream with a friend when she was shot.
Police were called about 10:30 p.m. to the scene on Buchanan Drive. They said DelTondo was shot at least 10 times.
The Beaver County coroner confirmed DelTondo died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the trunk and her death is being ruled a homicide.
Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier said police do not have any suspects and have not determined a motive.
Aliquippa police, Beaver County police and state police are all investigating.
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ABOUT RACHAEL DELTONDO
Rachael DelTondo was coming home from getting ice cream with a friend when she was shot 10 times in her mother's Aliquippa driveway.
The 32-year-old was a former teacher for the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.
DelTondo was on paid suspension after being found with an underage boy in a parked car in 2016.
Sources say they are looking at her murder as an act of passion or jealousy.
Until last fall, DelTondo was a teacher for the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. She was suspended after the mother of a former Aliquippa High School student spoke to 11 Investigates about an incident involving her underage son.
A police incident report said officers found DelTondo and the boy in a parked car near the old Aliquippa Community Hospital around 2 a.m.
DelTondo, who had been engaged at the time, was never charged in the incident, so Channel 11 never reported her name, but the school suspended her after contacting ChildLine.
SEARCH WARRANT FOR SHELDON JETER JR.
Channel 11 obtained a search warrant filed in the investigation.
The search warrant is for a cellphone belonging to a friend of DelTondo, Sheldon Jeter Jr., who police believe communicated with the group she was with minutes before the shooting.
Jeter Jr. who is now 20, is known to police as the teenager who was found in a car with Rachael DelTondo when he was 17.
Attorney Mike Santicola sat down with Channel 11 to defend his client, Jeter Jr.
"He’s a good kid Sheldon was put in a difficult situation over the holidays drawn into this thing that probably should have been nipped in the bud in 2016," Santicola said.
Santicola said the two continued their relationship -- calling and texting frequently.
According to police paperwork, Hanks Custard in New Brighton is the last place DelTondo was before she headed home. While she was there, the search warrant stated she received a text message from Jeter Jr.
Police believe he knew where she was because she was with a group of people including Jeter Jr's older half brother.
The search warrant details messages between the siblings:
Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “is yal there already”
Tyrie Jeter: “Yea”
Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “I got left huh (six smiley face emojis)
Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “Who all you with”
Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “??”
Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “Hanks closed”
According to the search warrant, when questioned by police, Jeter Jr. showed no emotion when he heard DelTondo was murdered.
Santicola said DelTondo confided in Jeter Jr. and told him she was working with outside agencies looking into police corruption.
"We find it far from a coincidence that she was murdered within days of having to testify," Santicola said.
Aliquippa police would not confirm this information.
Pittsburgh attorney Blaine Jones told Channel 11 he was retained by DelTondo, but would not say for what.
Santicola said he's speaking out now that officers have seized his client's cellphone and clothing, trying to tie him to this crime.
No charges have been filed in the murder investigation at this point.
SECOND SEARCH WARRANT FOR JETER JR.
Channel 11 obtained a copy of the second search warrant filed in the case.
The search warrant led Aliquippa police to the home of Jeter Jr. on Thursday night.
According to the search warrant, the items police were looking for were a 9 mm gun, any additional firearms, ammunition, a hoodie, bloodstained clothing, written correspondence about or to DelTondo, notebooks, cellphones and computers.
Officers found no weapons or ammo -- only a few notebooks.
The search warrant, however, said Jeter Jr. voluntarily handed over clothing to police he had been wearing on the day of the murder.
The police paperwork, however, states that surveillance detectives obtained of Jeter Jr. on May 13 shows he was in different clothing including a gray hoodie.
Channel 11 talked with the Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier on Friday but he would not give specifics.
"We have not named suspect or specific person of interest. We would see that with a criminal complaint. We are executing search warrants for telephones for people, places and things," Lozier said.
According to the search warrant, police also interviewed one of Jeter Jr.'s brothers who, according to police paperwork, told them he was in a relationship with DelTondo and that she had confided in him that she was feeling scared and believed that she was being followed.
The brother detailed an incident three months ago when he was with DelTondo, telling detectives that Jeter Jr. had shown up, gotten out of his car, approached DelTondo and said, "If my brother wasn't here, I would (blank) you up," according to police paperwork.
Lozier said Jeter Jr. is just one of many people being interviewed. He has not named any suspects or given a motive for the murder.
OFFICER OFF THE CASE
Channel 11 confirmed an Aliquippa officer is being taken off of the case because his daughter was with DelTondo when she was shot at close range in her mother's driveway.
We're told the officer is on leave because of his daughter's critical role in the investigation as an eyewitness, not because of anything the officer did.
The officer is one of the two officers who found DelTondo in a car with an underage teen in 2016. No charges were filed in that case.
THIRD SEARCH WARRANT FILED
A new search warrant was filed Monday, asking to seize the Facebook account of an Aliquippa police officer's wife's Facebook page.
According to the search warrant , Stephanie Watkins is the wife of the Aliquippa Police officer on leave because police say his juvenile daughter was with DelTondo minutes before her murder.
The warrant states that police want to look at Watkins' Facebook account from May 11 through May 15: two days before the murder and two days after.
Detectives are looking for subscriber information including status updates, shares, friends and private messages, according to police paperwork.
The search warrant did not give any specifics for why this information is wanted.
According to the district attorney, the investigation continues and they are not ready to name any suspects or motives.
THREE MORE SEARCH WARRANTS UNCOVERED
Channel 11 has uncovered additional search warrants in the investigation into Rachael DelTondo’s murder outside her parents’ house on Mother’s Day.
The search warrants focus on the Facebook accounts of DelTondo, Sheldon Jeter, Jr., and the daughter of a sergeant for Aliquippa police. Channel 11 is not identifying the girl because she is underage.
Channel 11 has learned the police seized her phone and are looking at her GPS and cell phone records.
The teenager is thought to be the last person DelTondo was with before the shooting.
Police said the teen dropped DelTondo off at her family home and then sent DelTondo a series of texts asking her to take a walk and then said "i'm on my way."
The district attorney just told us again this week that no suspects and no motives have been declared.
EX-FIANCE HAS 'NOTHING TO HIDE'
Frank Catroppa and DelTondo ended an eight-year romance, including an engagement, more than a year ago.
Catroppa told Channel 11 he voluntarily went to police for questioning but has nothing to do with her murder.
"She was a good girl. She had a big heart. Definitely don't understand why or how someone could do something like this to her," Catroppa said.
Catroppa said he was with his current girlfriend the night of the murder.
Investigators told Channel 11 they have interviewed more than 20 people, but have made no arrests.
"We have not named suspects or any specific persons of interest, we would do that with a criminal complaint," said David Lozier, Beaver County District Attorney. "If the Aliquippa Police Department is involved in this investigation, clearly there's no conflict. We would not allow people to be involved in this investigation if it has anything to do with a grand jury investigation."
Attorneys for both men in DelTondo's past say they are cooperating with police and are not suspects.
Lozier continues to say there are no suspects and no clear motive.
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